Rural Health Information Hub Latest News

Explore Health Data on Appalachian Communities

A new interactive data tool,, offers customizable, downloadable reports, maps, and charts on 41 health measures at the county, regional, and state levels for the 13 Appalachian states. Measures include disease mortality, obesity, smoking, number of health care providers, disability, and others.
 Try the tool

These new resources are part of the ongoing research initiative, Creating a Culture of Health in Appalachia: Disparities and Bright Spots , sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Appalachian Regional Commission and administered by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

Bright Spots in Appalachian Health: Identifying Communities With Better-than-expected Health Outcomes

The second report in a series exploring health issues in Appalachia, Identifying Bright Spots in Appalachian Health: Statistical Analysis describes the results of a regression analysis used to assess how each of the Appalachian Region’s 420 counties scored on 19 different health indicators, and then identifies counties with better-than-expected outcomes, given their characteristics and resource levels. Through this process, 42 Appalachian counties were classified as “Bright Spot” counties.

Read the report here.

IMPLAN Team Releases White Paper: Creating a Compelling Economic Impact Report

Conducting an economic impact study is no small feat. Interpreting and communicating your findings in a compelling and meaningful way is arguably an even more daunting undertaking.
In our newest white paper, “Creating a Compelling Economic Impact Report” we provide an overview of how to structure your study to set up your story, methods to interpret your results in a meaningful way, and ideas for how to organize the components of your report to create a comprehensive, compelling, and polished presentation.


MCCONNELLSBURG, PA. July 30, 2018 — (LOCAL MEDIA) – Fulton County Medical Center recently received national recognition for demonstrating innovation in the integration of behavioral or mental health initiatives. FCMC is committed to keeping pace with health care transformation, which is key to sustaining access to health services for the community. The National Rural Health Resource Center recognized this hospital for innovation and collaboration in the integration of behavioral or mental health into primary care.


HHS Releases Final Rule for Short-Term Insurance

On August 1, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a final rule that allows for short-term insurance to be purchased by consumers. The rules clarify the sale and renewal of short-term, limited-duration plans that cover longer periods than the previous maximum period of less than three months. The final rule states that coverage can now range from 3 – 36 months depending on circumstances. However, these plans are not required to comply with the Essential Health Benefit (EHB) requirements of the Affordable Care Act. This rule is effective and applicable 60 days after publication in the Federal Register (Sept. 29).

Access ECRI Health Literacy Resources

Healthcare vocabulary, complex concepts, and technical terminology can be overwhelming for patients and affect patient adherence. For those with poor basic health literacy and numeracy skills even understanding the basic elements of a prescription regimen can be challenging and helps increase the risk for medication error. ECRI’s three suggested target areas can be used to structure efforts to incorporate health literacy initiatives into a patient-centered culture:

Continue reading “Access ECRI Health Literacy Resources”

Join the “All of Us” Research Program

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) All of Us Research Program began national enrollment on May 6, 2018. The program is expected to be the largest and most diverse longitudinal health research program ever developed. Individuals ages 18 and older, regardless of health status, are invited to join this effort to advance individualized prevention, treatment and care for people of all backgrounds. Participants are asked to share different types of health and lifestyle information, including through online surveys and electronic health records, which will continue to be collected over the course of the program. Those who join will have access to study information and data about themselves, with choices about how much or little they want to receive. Researchers are hoping to discover how to more precisely prevent and treat health conditions. Knowledge gained from this research could help researchers improve health for generations to come. To join the All of Us Research Program, visit